Marketing Plan Report: Cheep Development

Paper

1. Executive Summary

Cheep Development, LLC is a technology service business currently operating in Titusville, Florida, owned by Jessica Galloway and operated by Troy Galloway. We offer graphic design services, website creation and maintenance, and custom apps and software for a variety of customers across the United States. CD has been in operation since 2006 and registered as a Limited Liability Corporation in 2018. We hope to expand our offerings to establish ourselves as completely self-employed individuals.

Our current customers are very satisfied with our work and often return for future projects or continued maintenance of something we provided before. Competitors are great in number, but we feel our unique skillsets will attract new customers to our dedication to “hatching dreams into reality.”

This plan focuses on the current services offered and growth objectives within three years. The specific objectives of this marketing plan are:

  • Increase number of customers to 100 (from 10).
  • $100,000 per year in income
    • Small business – 10%, or $10,000
      • 50+ customers similar in project needs to Warneke Photography ($100/year)
      • 10+ customers similar in project needs to Lexi’s Doll House ($500/year)
    • Return business – 60%, or $60,000
      • 25+ customers similar in project needs to Lickity Split Signs ($1,500/year)
      • 10+ customers similar in project needs to 4N6 Fanatics ($2,000/year)
    • Large business – 30%, or $30,000
      • 1+ customer similar in project needs to Ward Photonics ($30,000/year)
  • Build and maintain 20 websites.
    • Social media management is also categorized here.
  • Obtain approval to work as a government contractor.

This results in two marketing strategies; one to continue projects for existing customers and one to obtain new customers. We hope to better communicate with both markets by maintaining articles on our website and interaction with our Facebook page.

2. Situation Analysis

This marketing plan begins with an analysis of the market facing Cheep Development. This includes an assessment of the company, customers, competitors and external market environment. This information is then summarized with a S.W.O.T. (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis.

2.1.      Company Analysis

Cheep Development (CD) is currently located in Titusville, Florida. The business began in Wichita, Kansas in 2006 and was registered as an LLC in 2018. Our current tax information reflects Kansas as our home state. Due to the nature of our technology-based services offered over the internet, we do not have to focus our audience on local businesses. However, if we decide to stay in the local area in Titusville, an eventual plan to market to local businesses will need to be implemented, but our focus is not specifically on that audience.

Owned by Jessica Galloway and operated by Troy Galloway, CD exists in two departments currently aligned with each of our skillsets. Jessica provides graphic design, website development and maintenance, basic search engine marketing, and social media presence management. She has an Associate of Arts with emphasis in graphic design from Cowley College and is pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies, specifically Sociology and Marketing. Troy offers more advanced website development utilizing various programming languages, desktop software development, application design, and business analysis to see how technology and software solutions could enhance a company’s efficiency.  Troy is currently serving as an active duty enlisted member in the Air Force and has an Associate of Science degree from the Community College of the Air Force, a Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering and Database Management from Park University, and is pursuing his Master’s degree in Management Information Systems. We currently have no sales force and are promoting ourselves entirely via word of mouth and personal networking.

2.1.1.   Company Objectives

  • Increase number of customers to 100 (from 10).
  • $100,000 per year in revenue
    • Small business – 10%, or $10,000
      • 50+ customers similar in project needs to Warneke Photography ($100/year)
      • 10+ customers similar in project needs to Lexi’s Doll House ($500/year)
    • Return business – 60%, or $60,000
      • 25+ customers similar in project needs to Lickity Split Signs ($1,500/year)
      • 10+ customers similar in project needs to 4N6 Fanatics ($2,000/year)
    • Large business – 30%, or $30,000
      • 1+ customer similar in project needs to Ward Photonics ($30,000/year)
  • Build and maintain 20+ websites.
    • Social media management is also categorized here.
  • Obtain approval to work as a government contractor

2.1.2.   Company Resources

  • Financial Strength – The company presently has little capital and current business expenses come out of Troy’s income from the Air Force. A few recurring customers make up the inbound revenue, but projected numbers for 2019 only forecast about $3,000 in business.
  • Production Strength – The primary cost to take on more customers is time, and with Troy working full time and both Troy and Jessica attending school full time, this is the primary setback. One-time logo or poster projects take under an hour, where large scale software solutions can take 50 hours or more, both depending on how well the customer is able to convey what they are looking for.
  • Marketing Strength
    • Product – The variety of services we can offer is easily suited to meet the needs of many customers.
    • Place – The internet makes projects possible with people across the country, or even globe.
    • Promotion – This category is severely lacking. We have a website and Facebook page and have paid for ads on Facebook in the past, but have not seen customers from the investment. Additionally, Jessica maintains an online resume and portfolio website for her graphics work and casually looks for short-term job opportunities through Craigslist, LinkedIn, Upwork, and Indeed.
    • Price
      • Jessica’s work is charged at $40 an hour with discounts available for recurring work and prepayment for set blocks of time.
      • Troy’s work is charged at $100 an hour with discounts available for recurring work and prepayment for set blocks of time.

2.1.3.   Current Marketing Strategy

Jessica is pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies, specifically Sociology and Marketing, with hopes to better understand the marketing process and build business for CD in the future. We have an easy to navigate website and Facebook business page and have paid for ads on Facebook in the past, but have not seen customers from the investment. Additionally, Jessica casually looks for short-term job opportunities through Craigslist, LinkedIn, Upwork, and Indeed. Currently, Troy cannot pursue full time work for CD as his military obligation and graduate education occupy the majority of his time.

2.1.4.   Opportunity Analysis

To understand our future goals, we need to identify target customer types from past business.

  • Warneke Photography – logo design, 2 hours, one-time customer, $100
  • Lexi’s Doll House – design services, 1-4 hours, repeat customer, $500/year
  • Lickity Split Signs – per hour design and marketing, bulk discount, average 2 hours per week, repeat customer, $1,500 per year
  • 4N6 Fanatics – custom website design with additional updates and features, 2-10 hours, repeat customer, $2,000 per year
  • Ward Photonics – data collection system, continued updates, 200 hours, one-time customer, $30,000

The primary objective is to earn $100,000 per year in revenue as a business. Our ideal breakdowns of that business are as follows:

  • Small business – 10%, or $10,000
    • 50+ customers similar in project needs to Warneke Photography ($100/year)
    • 10+ customers similar in project needs to Lexi’s Doll House ($500/year)
  • Return business – 60%, or $60,000
    • 25+ customers similar in project needs to Lickity Split Signs ($1,500/year)
    • 10+ customers similar in project needs to 4N6 Fanatics ($2,000/year)
  • Large business – 30%, or $30,000
    • 1+ customer similar in project needs to Ward Photonics ($30,000/year)

The nature of business preferred is both one time and return customers that are able to effectively communicate their technology needs. We process invoices through Square Inc. and accept all major credit cards, although we are also able to handle cash, or less preferably check, customers. Small businesses are ideal candidates for our design and software solutions, however companies of all sizes can benefit from our services. At the current time, we want to limit our customers to those in the United States for optimal customer service, however we are not opposed to international business in the future. Additionally, the opportunities we select must be large enough to interest us, profitably and objectively, but also not so large that they interfere with our “day jobs”. Our “day jobs” will eventually be replaced entirely with CD business, but we are not ready to make that step just yet. Finally, our long-term objective of becoming a government contractor will need to be kept in mind to ensure it is achieved in our 3-year timeline.

2.2       Customer Analysis

We ideally want to work with small, locally owned businesses that are trying to expand or otherwise increase their profits. We additionally want to target startups that need a technological solution to further their business against their own competitors. Finally, we aim to pursue government contracts looking for our specific variety of services. Our ideal customers will be able to effectively communicate their technology needs for us to adequately interpret solutions for them. We will position ourselves against competitors by providing excellent customer service, fully customizing our offerings to meet a customer’s specific needs, and building long term relationships. Ideal customers will likely fall into similar business categories to customers we have worked with in the past.

  • Stay-at-home mom businesses
    • MLM
    • Photographers
    • Crafters
  • Online communities
    • Educational groups
    • Entertainment groups
  • Companies utilizing manual labor for something that a machine can do faster and more efficiently
    • Data collection
    • Time tracking solutions
    • Inventory control systems

2.3       Competitive Market Analysis

Logo Design – Fiverr

  • Internet-based freelance community.
  • Multiple artists offering various levels of design.
    • Basic JPG art appears to start at $5.
    • Full file sets with revisions appear to start at $40.
  • Integrated rating system with freelancer profiles.
    • Username
    • Tagline
    • Location
    • Member since
    • Response time
    • Recent delivery time
    • Short bio
  • Guaranteed payments and deliveries through Fiverr website.
  • Significant overseas market saturation.
    • Translation issues may be a problem.
  • Lacks personal communication with customers about their individual project needs.
    • Zero room for upsell.
    • Projects likely under-quoted.
  • Ideal approach – Integrate; sign up for freelancer accounts and price our offerings competitively to meet one-time customer goals.
  • Secondary approach – Utilize; enlist freelance assistance on projects out of our scope (time, money, skills, etc.).

Web design and maintenance – Wix

  • Web-based drag-and-drop website creation.
  • Easy to use.
  • Difficulty integrating search engine optimization.
  • Ideal approach – Refer; small customers looking for inexpensive options to build their online presence that aren’t ready to take the plunge on a custom site with CD.
  • Secondary approach – Utilize; offer to make a Wix site for someone and charge a discounted hourly rate.

Web design and maintenance – WordPress

  • Content management system with customizable themes and plugins.
  • Easy to use.
  • Can become too complex for beginning users with features.
    • Lickity Split owner does not know where his plugins are or how they are integrated into his existing website.
  • Ideal approach – Refer; small customers looking for inexpensive options to build their online presence that aren’t ready to take the plunge on a custom site with CD.
  • Secondary approach – Utilize; offer to make a WordPress-hosted site for someone and charge a discounted hourly rate.
    • Self-hosted WordPress sites are something that CD currently offers, but the option above would be using Automattic’s pricing and hosting packages with only our labor involved.

Programming Services – Fiverr

  • Internet-based freelance community.
  • Multiple programmers offering various projects.
    • One-page HTML websites appear to start at $5.
    • Responsive PHP websites appear to start at $400.
    • Python scripting appears to range from $40-120.
    • Mobile website development appears to start at $25.
    • Full mobile app development appears to start at $500.
    • Database management appears to start at $30.
    • Many additional options are available.
  • Integrated rating system with freelancer profiles.
    • Username
    • Tagline
    • Location
    • Member since
    • Response time
    • Recent delivery time
    • Short bio
  • Guaranteed payments and deliveries through Fiverr website.
  • Significant overseas market saturation.
    • Translation issues may be a problem.
  • Lacks personal communication with customers about their individual project needs.
    • Zero room for upsell.
    • Projects likely under-quoted.
  • Ideal approach – Integrate; sign up for freelancer accounts and price our offerings competitively to meet one-time customer goals.
  • Secondary approach – Utilize; enlist freelance assistance on projects out of our scope (time, money, skills, etc.).

Other startup technology firms – Blue Shift Web Services

  • Local, married couple team
  • Offers website development and PHP programming to a current client (Lickity Split) at a lower rate per hour
  • Does not offer graphics services, marketing services, or advanced programming services
  • Ideal approach – Collaborate; offer our design services to them for their own clients and send non-opportunistic jobs (time, money, etc.) in their direction.
  • Secondary approach – Outperform; our services are more inclusive, customizable for each client’s needs, and we’ve been doing this longer than they have
    • Provide sample work and testimonials to show customers we’re the best at what we do

2.4.      External Market Environment

Economic environment – People are cheap and don’t want to pay for something they can do themselves or think they don’t need. In response, we show them what we can do that they can’t and how valuable our services really are using sales and membership figures from previous customers’ solutions.

Technological environment – People think they can make their own websites, but they end up terrible and do not bring business to the company. In response, we show them examples of professional and clean websites we have designed and provide customer testimonials referencing our offerings.

Political and legal environment – Data collection and privacy issues are a major concern in the business market currently. In response, we show them how secure software solutions can keep their customer and/or company information safe.

Cultural and social environment – Everyone and their mom has a website right now so people want to know how to stand out in the huge crowd. In response, we customize a visually appealing user interface with secure and reliable software solutions, built from the ground up, to meet the customer’s specific needs.

2.5.      SWOT Analysis

  • Strengths
    • Experienced – We have both been involved in our respective fields for over 15 years.
    • Knowledgeable – We are furthering our industry positioning through continued education.
    • Teamwork – As a couple, both professionally and personally, we know how to effectively communicate with each other to see projects though to their completion.
    • Low operating costs – With no physical location, we are able to operate wherever business may take us for only our cost of living.
  • Weaknesses
    • Money – As both a family and business, we have limited financial assets.
    • Sales – We have no dedicated sales force.
    • Time – When looking for opportunities, we lack the availability to commit to large projects.
  • Opportunities
    • Locally, the space industry is growing, so as businesses emerge to provide for that market, we can establish ourselves as a great resource for technological endeavors.
    • Overall, businesses are looking to present themselves as technologically superior among competition, so our offerings and services can help them get ahead of the rest.
  • Threats
    • Competition – With the saturated market of freelancers and the emergence of do-it-yourself technologies, consumers may be hesitant to pay for services they think they can get for cheaper or through their own efforts.

3.         Marketing Strategy

This plan focuses on the current services offered and growth objectives within three years. The specific objectives of this marketing plan are:

  • Increase number of customers to 100 (from 10).
  • $100,000 per year in revenue
    • Small business – 10%, or $10,000
      • 50+ customers similar in project needs to Warneke Photography ($100/year)
      • 10+ customers similar in project needs to Lexi’s Doll House ($500/year)
    • Return business – 60%, or $60,000
      • 25+ customers similar in project needs to Lickity Split Signs ($1,500/year)
      • 10+ customers similar in project needs to 4N6 Fanatics ($2,000/year)
    • Large business – 30%, or $30,000
      • 1+ customer similar in project needs to Ward Photonics ($30,000/year)
  • Build and maintain 20+ websites.
    • Social media management is also categorized here.
  • Obtain approval to work as a government contractor

The tactics we plan to implement to obtain these objectives are divided below by the 4 P’s and also indicate applicability to new customers, existing customers, or both markets. Due to the nature of these growth objectives, most tactics are geared towards new customers.

3.1.      Product

  • Develop website packages. (New)
  • Develop logo packages. (New)
  • Develop maintenance packages. (Existing)
  • Develop hosting packages. (Both)

3.2.      Place

  • Offer solution consultations on location. (New)
  • Pursue a physical location to operate from. (New)

3.3.      Promotion

  • Hire a dedicate salesperson, likely compensated through straight commission. (New)
  • Maintain the CD website by adding testimonials and articles that will be relevant to potential customers. (New)
  • Increase visibility on via Facebook to local businesses through publicity on community pages and targeted advertising using their Ads Manager. (New)
  • Increase visibility for the website through the use of Google AdWords. (New)
  • Participate in community events. (Both)

3.4.      Price

  • Retain and stand firm on current pricing structure. (Both)
  • Offer 25% discount on our hourly rates when customers pay for 5 or more hours. (Both)

4.         Implementation and Control

The marketing tactics outlined above should be easy to implement as we transition from a part-time, home-based business to a physical, real competitor in our local market. We will monitor our advertisement and publicity campaigns to ensure visibility is high and ideal customer interaction is occurring. This strategy can be modified to handle the level of business we are capable of doing over the next three years. We will continue to provide service to existing customers and will likely see sales increase off of added services to this audience alone, however they will not be substantial enough to operate CD as our “day job” and only source of income. As soon as Jessica finishes her degree, additional design and marketing customers can be added. As soon as Troy finishes his degree, additional programming customers can be added. When Troy separates from the military, we will be able to focus full time on CD. In the event Troy does not separate from the military, we plan to move our business to the next local area and remarket ourselves to new customers.

References

McGraw-Hill Higher Education. (2009). Marketing Plan Coach. Retrieved from Brief Outline: http://www.mhhe.com/business/marketing/Perreault13e/marketing_coach/LA/BriefOutline.html

Perreault, W. D., Cannon, J. P., & McCarthy, E. J. (2014). Basic Marketing: A Marketing Strategy Plan Approach. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s